New Cruise Ships – Three to Sail This Summer

3 New Cruise Ships To Book This Year

While the economy might be on the road to recovery, leery Americans are still hunting for bargains and spending discretionary income cautiously. So not surprisingly, the hottest trend predicted for travel this summer is in cruising, that all-inclusive vacation long valued for its cost-effectiveness and family enjoyment. Anticipating both the demand and the competition, major cruise lines this year are introducing dazzling new ships with jaw-dropping innovations such as loft suites with double-height floor to ceiling windows, the first-ever water-coaster, and a suspended rope-climbing course. You could say the latest super-ships are as delightful as the ports-of-call.

DISNEY’S DREAMBOAT

With accommodations for over 5,000 passengers and crew,the Disney Dream is 40 percent taller, wider and longer than its two sister ships, the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder. The Dream’s maiden voyage was January 26 and like the others, it harkens back to the glamorous golden age of cruising during the 1930s with original whimsical art, lavish murals and Art Deco ambiance.

With the Disney name on the bow the Dream obviously caters to families and most of the staterooms come with a new innovation- split bathrooms, complete with a tub and shower, and separate sinks that allow for multiple people to use the space at the same time. The inside cabins which are normally windowless, also herald an industry first- virtual portholes, with a real-time view outside the ship using high-definition cameras.

But the Dream’s largest bells and whistles were reserved for the public area. In addition to the lavish restaurants and entertainment venues, there’s the first-ever cruise industry water coaster, aptly named AquaDuck.

The Dream’s itinerary is set for 4 and 5 day cruises to the Bahamas.

ALLURING ON THE SEAS

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line launched Allure of the Seas in December 2010, sister to the Oasis of the Seas and the world’s largest cruise ship. How big is it? On its 16 decks it can accommodate 6,360 guests. With all that space Allure has a lot to offer, including a whopping 37 categories of accommodations, including 28 two-story Loft Suites featuring contemporary fixtures, modern art, and double-height floor to ceiling windows. Imagine waking up to that sunrise! The lofts, an industry first, are the highest accommodations at sea and measure 545 square feet. The space includes an upper-level bedroom that overlooks the living area and extended ocean views.

The mega-ship continues showing off all its extra space in public areas with whimsical surprises like a full-sized classic carousel, and another industry first, an Aqua Theater.

The Allure’s itinerary is set for 7-night eastern and western Caribbean.

CARNIVAL MAGICIANS.

The newest addition to Carnival’s 22-ship fleet is the Carnival Magic, arriving in May, featuring SkyCourse, the first ropes course at sea and the industry’s first-ever outdoor fitness area. The new attraction will offer thrills and adventure along with magnificent views of the sea nearly 150 feet below. On SkyCourse, guests strap into a safety harness and choose from a beginner or intermediate course, traversing across rope bridges, swinging steps and beams suspended above the top deck. Approximately 20 guests at a time can zig and zag along the two 230-foot courses.

The outdoor fitness center, Sky Fitness, features a wide array of exercise equipment and a jogging path that surrounds the entire area. There is also a lighted multipurpose space for basketball, volleyball and soccer and the Carnival’s first two-level, nine-hole miniature golf course.

The 3,670 passenger ship is slated to debut in Europe with a series of seven-12-day Mediterranean cruises until Oct. 16. Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, it will launch 7-day Caribbean services from Galveston, Texas, Nov. 14, becoming that ports largest year-round cruise ship.

Piranha’s Killer Happy Hour

Piranha Killer Sushi undoubtedly has one of the best happy hours in Austin. For they offer something so rare, it is virtually unheard of: The Reverse Happy Hour. The late hours and convenient downtown location make Piranha a perfect stop for some after-drinks dinner. Though timing and location are everything, I have yet to share my favorite part about this particular happy hour. Piranha is the only restaurant, in all of my happy hour days, that discounts my favorite drink of all time, The Wedding Cake Martini. Church-bells ring at just the aroma of this vanilla and amaretto treat. And for all of you limoncello lovers, The Italian Ice Martini is equally as delicious. My other all time favorite, ceviche, also made the cut. You will be hooked after one bite of the salmon with mango and cilantro salsa. It’s hard to share this delicious plate and for only $7, you might want to order 2! I share my addiction to this heavenly ceviche with Fort Worth Monthly who has voted Piranha Killer Sushi “Best Sushi” three years in a row! Not to mention, Executive Chef Kenzo Tran was named “Best Sushi Chef” in 2006.

Last week Piranha hosted a happy hour at Legacy on The Lake Apartments and impressed guests with their sushi bar set up and generous cocktail service. The “Forget About It” roll was all the rave and sure enough, can be found on the happy hour menu for $7. And the delight doesn’t stop at dinner. Piranha’s knows that the late night snack often comes with a sweet tooth so they’ve half-offed all desserts, even the Tower of Chocolate! For something light, the Green Tea Ice Cream is a welcomed refreshing and simple option. With so many favorites, Piranha’s happy hour menu is remarkably impressive and as genuine as the staff. Go with friends for an after downtown snack or share a late night dessert with a date.

Piranha Killer Sushi is located at 201 San Jacinto Blvd., in Austin Texas. Call to reserve your table today at 512-473-8775.

For more information on Piranha Killer Sushi events and happy hours, visit [http://www.Austinontherocks.com] now. And don’t forget to say hello to Aaron behind the bar and ask for a free AOTR koozie! AT Austinontherocks.com, you can find the best food and drink specials in Austin, prixe fixe meals, and wine pairing dinners. Our searchable database gives you results based upon criteria that YOU select for a perfect match every time.

Needle and Pain Free Vaccinations

The development of a needle-free vaccination delivery system has been identified by the Grand Challenges in Global Health (GCGH) initiative as one of the major challenges facing global health care today.

Millions of needles and syringes are used each day in health care. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 12 billion injections are given each year. Only about 5% are used in the delivery of vaccines for immunization and prevention of infectious diseases. Even though vaccinations have saved lives over the years, there are some hurdles to overcome. One of these is the use of needles or “sharps” to deliver the vaccines.

According to Myron Levine of the Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine and member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) “three fundamental themes remain in common worldwide: first, high immunization coverage of target populations generally must be attained for maximal public health impact; second, most current vaccines are administered parenterally using a needle and syringe; third, there is a broad recognition of the need to find ways to administer vaccines without the use of ‘sharps’ (that is, needles and syringes).”

The disadvantages of needle delivery of vaccine include:

(1) Pain and irritation of vaccination site. A large fraction of our population is scared of needles, probably as consequence of a previous bad experience. The majority of patients at the delivery end of vaccination are very young children under the age of two and needle pricks in this patient population can cause a lot of pain and distress. Needles may also cause discomfort at the injection site long after the shot has been applied.

(2) Lack of compliance. The World Health Organization’s Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) has recommended six basic vaccines for infants in developing countries: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus toxoids (DPT), bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), and attenuated polio and measles. In developed countries such as the US, more vaccinations are required by health authorities. However, for the so-called “herd immunity” to work, a certain % of the population must comply with vaccination schedule.

(3) Safety. Vaccination with needles produces dangerous infectious waste that come with serious health threats to both patient and health care professionals. The reuse of unsterilized needles has facilitated the transmission of blood-borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis.

(4) Speed and efficiency. Recently, the threats of bioterrorism and pandemic flu have highlighted the need of fast, easy and safe vaccine delivery to the masses should the need arise. Definitely, vaccination using syringes and needles was not designed for these situations.

(5) Cost-efficiency and logistics. Doing away with syringes and needles can make vaccinations in less developed countries cheaper and more accessible. Syringes and needles need to be transported and stored for vaccination purposes. Injectible vaccines need to be refrigerated during transport.

Although needle-free delivery systems exist for many drugs, vaccines present a challenge because they usually consist of large molecules that cannot be easily delivered transdermally. Myron Levine summarized in a review article the different methods of administrating needle-free vaccines.

(1) Vaccines delivered through mucosal surfaces. Though theoretically possible, this form of delivery hasn’t caught on except perhaps with the use of the nasal spray.

(2) Oral vaccines. Specific vaccines can be given orally in the form of pills. Oral polio vaccine has already been around for awhile. Other vaccines can be delivered via this route including certain types of cholera vaccines and the new rotavirus vaccines. However, this delivery route presents some problems for very young infants who might not be able to swallow properly and whose digestive system may not be able to withstand the effects of the vaccines.

(3) Nasal vaccines. The nasal vaccine through the respiratory tract is a very popular alternative to the flu shot. The FluMist” nasal spray, made from live, attenuated, cold-adapted vaccine, has been approved by the FDA and is delivered using a single-use spraying device through the nostrils.

(4) Aerosol vaccine. This mode of administration through the respiratory tract has been tested for measles vaccine. This is an alternative to the nasal spray and can be used with liquid aerosol and dry power for mass immunization.

(5) Needle-free percutaneous jet injection. This device works by propelling liquid through a small skin pore under high pressure. The liquid is then transported to the dermis and underlying tissues and muscles. There are multiple dose injectors available, making this type of delivery fast and practical for mass immunizations. However, it has the disadvantage of a high incidence of local irritation at the vaccination site as well as the possibility of transmission of infectious diseases.

(6) Transcutaneous delivery. This is commonly known as the “vaccine patch” and is delivered via the skin. The adhesive patch is applied after a preliminary hydration, directly on the skin. The occlusive patch makes the skin permeable to the vaccine. The cutaneously applied antigens are then taken up by Langerhans cells found in the upper layer (epidermis) of the skin allowing the immune-processing cells to migrate to the lymph nodes.

In recent years, several biotech companies have invested millions of dollars in developing, testing and finalizing different forms of needle-free delivery systems for all kinds of drugs, not only vaccines. The most promising of the needle-free vaccination systems at this juncture is Trans Cutaneuous Immunization (TCI).

Several advantages of the TCI have been identified. including cost-effective, safe, fast distribution, easy storage (can be stockpiled!) and easy administration, with the potential for self-administration.

In 2007, American researchers tested the efficacy of TCI with Clostridium difficile toxoid A in mice, with positive results. The bacteria C. difficile is the leading cause of nosocomial diarrhea, e.g. infectious diarrhea transmitted in the hospital setting. Also in 2007, Johns Hopkins University researchers tested the protective efficacy of TCI with the heat-labile toxin (LT) of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). The results showed that the patch “induced anti-toxin immune responses that did not prevent but mitigated the illness.

Apollo Life Sciences has developed and patented a needle-free drug delivery and in May 2007 it released the results of preliminary studies on needle-free transdermal delivery of tetanus toxoid vaccine in mice. Apollo has developed the non-invasive transdermal carrier, TransD” which works by delivering “a protein-laden water layer across the skin and into the surrounding dermal and sub-dermal layers. It has potential to replace injections for biodrugs based on molecules such as interferon, growth hormones and anti-TNF (tumor necrosis factor).”

The TCI developed by the biotech firm Iomai, now owned by the Austrian company Intercell has recently made the headlines. Drug Delivery Report described how it works: “Administration is a two-step process. First, the skin is prepared by placing the device on the patient’s arm and pulling a tab. The tab draws a mildly abrasive substance across the skin, making a painless and nearly imperceptible dent and simultaneously leaving an ink mark to indicate where the patch should be applied. The patient then wears an adhesive patch [with the vaccine] for several hours.” The innovative design company Ideo helped designed the patch which required removal of an extremely thin layer of skin (about one-thousandth of an inch!).

Currently, Intercell’s vaccine patch against traveler’s diarrhea or the so-called Montezuma’s Revenge is showing promise. The disease is a major cause of diarrhea among travelers, with symptoms ranging from stomach cramps to vomiting and diarrhea. Dr. Herbert DuPont of the University of Texas is one of the researchers involved in testing the vaccine. He told Reuters: “I think it’s one of the most exciting new developments in travel medicine. People could buy this and put it on themselves whenever they take a trip. It is the most convenient form of immunization I have ever seen.”

The vaccine has been tested on visitors travelling to Guatemala and Mexico and showed 70% efficacy against traveler’s diarrhea. In another field study of 170 travelers as part of the vaccine patch Phase II trials, the vaccine patch reduced the risk of developing moderate to severe traveler’s diarrhea by 75%. Phase III clinical trials are in process. If approved, this will be the first vaccine to prevent traveler’s diarrhea. The study results were published in the Lancet and conclude that “the vaccine patch is safe and feasible, with benefits to the rate and severity of travellers’ diarrhea.”

A second promising Intercell vaccine patch is targeted against the pandemic flu. If successful, the patch will expand the limited vaccine supplies by allowing fewer or lower doses of vaccine. The program is funded by a United States Department of Health and Human Services contract.” The patch contains a vaccine made from the H5N1 influenza virus. Results of a Phase I/II trials showed that a small amount of the vaccine triggered a protective immune response in 73% of the study participants. Phase II trials are expected to begin in 2009.

Vaccination and immunization technology has changed a lot in recent years as it tries to meet the health challenges facing both developed and developing countries. The TCI or vaccine patch is a promising tool which will hopefully help solve some of the problems facing traditional vaccine delivery systems.

Macau Tour – How to See China’s Most Atmospheric City in a Day

Many tourists who visit Hong Kong take a day tour to neighboring Macau, and while this history-rich town justifies more than just a day, you can still see its major places of interest on a day-long tour.

This article will guide you how to build an itinerary for a successful Macau tour of only one day…

First and foremost, to ensure your day long Macau tour is truly enjoyable, you have to get up early and catch a ferry that leaves Hong Kong at 7am or even earlier… The ferry-trip takes an hour and there’s absolutely no point for you to start your Macau tour after 8am, if you are planning to return to Hong Kong at the end of the same day…

More details about traveling from Hong Kong to Macau are found in my other article, “How to Get to Macau from Hong Kong”.

Outside Macau Ferry Terminal, there is a bus stop from which you can travel to your first destination: Senado Square (Largo do Senado) – The heart of Macau town and a convenient starting point to the UNESCO’s declared Macau World Heritage Trail.

Just like most of Macau’s old streets, this large piazza is notable for its Portuguese style cobblestone paving, featuring patterns of black-and-white waves. Around the square, there are some nice local caf├ęs, where you can start your morning, as well as a small market, tucked in the small alleys behind the square, where you can buy export surpluses and factory outlet stuff at a steal of a price…

More importantly, however, some of Macau’s most exciting heritage sites are located just a short stroll from Senado Square, including…

Museum of Macau is built into a hill and occupies most of what used to be Macau’s strongest fort, hundreds of years ago. It’s not a very big museum by international standards, but it does have some very nice exhibits that tell the story of this charming town in an interesting way…
Ruins of St. Paul’s: The only remain of what was once Asia’s largest Catholic church, is an impressive 16th century facade, featuring intricate reliefs and sculptures.
Santo Domingo Church is an 1828 Baroque-Filipino style church, housing a tiny museum, where you can see precious historical objects, related to the history of the Roman Catholic church in Asia.
Lou Kau Mansion: A beautiful 19th century courtyard-house that used to serve as the residence of one of the city’s richest Chinese merchants.
The Cathedral
The Holy House of Mercy: Another important historical building, with a small museum in it.

From Senado Square, you can easily walk southwest, along the UNESCO declared Macau World Heritage Trail, passing through some of the city’s most interesting heritage gems, like picturesque Rua da Felicidade, where a famous scene of the movie “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Doom” was shot, St. Augustine’s Square (Largo de Santo Agostinho), where China’s first western style theatre is found, St. Joseph’s Church, with its fabulous baroque architecture, St. Lawrence’s Church (which is one of Macau’s three oldest churches), Lilau Square, where Macau’s only source of freshwater used to be, the Moorish Barracks… and onwards, to A-Ma Temple and Macau Maritime Museum.

There are some great Portuguese-Macanese restaurants around A-Ma Temple and Macau Maritime Museum, like A Lorcha and Restaurante Litoral, so try not to nibble too much on the way…

It will probably be late afternoon by the time you complete your “historic city walk”. From here, you have a few options:

You can catch a cab to Macau Tower, one of the world’s tallest free standing towers and a great spot to enjoy a sunset-cocktail while watching how the night slowly covers the city and Macau’s extravagant neon signs glow in a thousand colors…
From here, you can drive across the bridge to Taipa Island and onwards, to Cotai, where the world’s largest casino is located, at the Venetian. Visiting this colossal casino is exciting, even if you are not a gambler, and what’s more, you can enjoy some great shopping, dining and gondola riding at the adjacent Venice-themed mall, called the Grand Canal shoppes.
Taipa Village, just a short way from the Venetian, is where the original community of Taipa Island started from… Strolling through the stone paved alleys of this old town has its own magical charm, and you can pop into one of the homey restaurants and enjoy a fantastic Portuguese-Macanese feast…

Traveling back to Hong Kong is as easy as ABC. If you wind up your day at the Venetian, simply take one of their free shuttles to Taipa Island’s Temporary Ferry Terminal where you can board the CotaiJet, but if you are around Macau Town (or the tower) traveling via Macau Ferry Terminal is likely to make more sense.

In any case, ferries run between Macau and Hong Kong 24/7 so you can take you time and enjoy Macau’s nightlife without pressure

Hong Kong Holiday – A Day Trip to Macau

Many visitors to Hong Kong spend at least one day of their holiday in neighboring Macau, and although the former Portuguese colony deserves a longer visit, you can definitely see most of its key attractions on a single day tour.

This article will show you how to cover Macau’s most significant tourist attractions on a day-trip from Hong Kong.

Wake up early, so you can catch a ferry at around 7am and arrive at Macau sometimes around 8am. Details about traveling between Hong Kong and Macau can be found in my other article, “How to Get to Macau from Hong Kong”.

Do not follow the touts outside Macau’s ferry terminal. Most of them operate pedycabs or unlicensed taxis, and they’ll just want you to pay ridiculous prices for nothing…

Outside the terminal, on the street, there is a station from where you can take a bus to Hotel Lisboa (It’s only a few minutes ride and you can take any of the following routes: 3, 3a, 10, 10a, 12, 28b, 28x, 28c and 32). From the large roundabout, in front of Hotel Lisboa, take a bus to Coloane Village (21A and 25 travel this direction).

Tip: If buses are too full at this early hour of the day, or if you just don’t feel like wasting your precious time on buses, simply take a taxi (licensed BLACK or YELLOW taxi, with a meter). Macau is not that big and the taxi is not going to charge you the earth… As a matter of fact, if you are a group of three, taking a cab makes a lot of sense.

Dropping at Coloan’s Village Square, have your breakfast of fresh Portuguese egg tarts at world famous Lord Stow’s and proceed for a pleasant stroll through the village historic alleyways, visiting old Chinese temples and churches on the way.

Bus No. 15 will take you from Coloane Village to Taipa Village, where you can stroll through old streets and enjoy lunch at some of Macau’s best Portuguese-Macanese restaurants. Taipa Houses Museum (Casas Museu da Taipa) is also worth visiting, if you are already there.

After having a nice lunch in one of Taipa’s fabulous restaurants, hop on a bus to Barra Bus Terminus, next to A-Ma Temple and the Maritime Museum. The 1480s built A-Ma Temple is one of the city’s most prominent attractions and presumably, the place where Macau started from, after the legendary goddess, A-Ma, saved a group of fishermen from a devastating storm at sea.

Macau Maritime Museum, right in front of the temple, is certainly worth visiting, but you have to make sure you’ve got enough time, as there are even more interesting sites ahead…

From A-Ma temple, you can walk along the UNESCO declared Macau World Heritage Trail, passing through historical churches and monuments, to Senado Square, the very heart of Macau town, and onwards, to Ruins of St. Paul’s, one of Macau’s most famous sites.

Evening can be spent at Largo Senado, where quite a few good restaurant and cafes can be found, as well as a small market, with factory outlets that sell brand-name surpluses at a good price. You may also consider going to Macau Tower and take a glass-clad lift to the high observation deck, from which you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city lighting up, or give luck a chance at one of Macau’s famous casinos, like the Lisboa, Grand Lisboa, Sands, Wynn, or… The world’s largest casino… The Venetian. Some of Macau’s “creme-de-la-creme” restaurants and swanky bars are located right next to the city’s major casinos.

You can travel back to Hong Kong 24 hours a day, just remember to buy your ticket in advance if you plan to travel late at night, after the ticketing office closes down.

Once in Macau Ferry Terminal, you can be back at your Hong Kong hotel in less than two hours.

Hong Kong Travel – How to Get to Macau From Hong Kong

Macau is just across the bay from Hong Kong and many visitors to Asia’s International city spend at least one or two days of their holiday in this fascinating city, where old Chinese temples are neighboring European baroque churches and glitzy casinos, and where Portuguese lifestyle coexists alongside Chinese traditions. This article will show you the best ways of getting from Hong Kong to Macau and back.

As you may already know, ferry is what more than 95% of the passengers on this line are using. There is also a helicopter service, but it’s very expensive and honestly speaking, won’t save you that much time. So why not leave the chopper for the time-conscious businessmen?

Ferries leave from two major terminals in Hong Kong (Other than the airport’s Sky Pier, which is irrelevant to this article): Namely Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan, on Hong Kong Island, and HK China Ferry Terminal, in Tsim sha Tsui, on the Kowloon side.

They operate 24/7 and arrive at the Main ferry terminal in Macau, which is a fairly convenient spot to start your Macau journey from (Unless you only want to come for a night of gambling, which in this case you can take the CotaiJet, directly to Macau’s flashy casino strip).

1) The bright red Turbojet is a quick ferry that covers the way to Macau in slightly less than an hour. It departs every fifteen minutes during the day, and every thirty minutes at night, and leaves from Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal at Sheung wan/Central, on the island.

The terminal building can easily be accessed by foot from Central MTR Station, as well as from the Star Ferry Pier or from the Airport Express Station. Single trip costs approximately HK$ 140 at the time of writing, and slightly more than this over the weekends.

2) If you wish to travel from Kowloon’s side, First Ferry Macau departs from Tsim Sha Tsui every thirty minutes, from 7 am till midnight. Travel time is also around one hour and the price range is similar to that of Turbojet

3) Those of you who are only interested in a night of gambling, good food and entertainment at Cotai Strip and the Venetian, can take advantage of the new CotaiJet service which takes passengers to Taipa Island’s Temporary Ferry Terminal in Macau (from where a free coach will take you to Cotai Strip itself).

CotaiJet leaves from Tsim sha Tsui’s HK China Ferry Terminal, every thirty minutes (every one hour at night), between 7 am and 1am. Traveling time is, again, one hour, and the basic ticket costs HK$ 134 one way at the time of writing.

From Macau, CotaiJet ferries depart every thirty minutes (every one hour at night, and every two hours late at night.), between 7:30 am to 5am, which means you can party the night away in the Venetian and make it back to Hong Kong, just in time for breakfast.

And before I conclude this article, here are a few important points you should note:

o Although Hong Kong and Macau are both part of China, they are two separate administrative regions, which means you have to carry your passport with you and check what are Macau’s visa requirements, before leaving (as well as whether you can re-enter HK without a visa, once you are back). The good news are that both HK and Macau have very lenient visa policy, when it comes to tourists.

o Tickets can be bought at the Ferry Terminal itself, however, the ticketing office close down at around 10pm, so if you plan to travel at night, make sure you buy the tickets in advance (or online). In any case, try to come at least 1 hour before the planned departure time.

o Access luggage (over the permissible 20kg) should be paid for in cash. It’s really hard to believe you will need to carry anything more than that for your one or two days holiday in Macau. But it’s better to know these things up front, other than to run all over the terminal building, looking for An ATM.

Macau Attractions

Macau being the blend of old and new attractions is a must visit place. Whilst the neoclassical structural design of Senado Square reminds us of the islands imposing culture, the high, contemporary casino type resorts are an obvious indication of where Macau’s current and upcoming future lies. With well above 15 museums on the island explaining each and every aspect of the action-packed history and consequential results on the island, is efficiently explained. Shrines, Decorative churches and administrative building all provide information regarding the amalgamation of western and eastern cultures to encouraging effect. Beyond the attention-grabbing sights, an ideal way to enjoy an afternoon in Macau is at Cathedral Square.

Coloane Island Attractions

Numerous appealing and past tourist sites are present on the Coloane Island, and even today it sustains many of the usual ways of Macanese living. Coloane Village is a huge fishing community to be found in the southern west region of the island, with local shops and colorful shrines all along its thin lanes.

Taipa Island Attractions

Taipa, s sightseeing opening are immense and attracts number of travelers from all around. You can visit these sites either on foot or by bike. Large number of educational places and organizations as well as traditional Macanese existing areas all provides an enthralling insight into the countless faces of Macau. The small collection of museums together displays the real face of conventional Macanese customs.

Downtown Macau Attractions

Certainly one of the most enjoyable and satisfying section of the island, Downtown Macau to be found next to the neon blinking lights and luminous skyscrapers with its compilation of religious associated structural design and colonial markings. The overwhelming and irresistible sights are set closely together, so moving on foot is effortlessly done.

Macau Outer Harbour Attractions

Macau’s Outer Harbour has nearly everything to satisfy the travelers. Contemporary and pioneering architecture, old villas and few of the implausible museums makes the place a very entertaining one. The Macau enriching centre is the island’s principal location for the arts and is a nice entertainment from the hustle and bustle of the casinos.

Macau Inner Harbor Attractions

Numerous significant historical and spiritual sites are present here and they are all worth paying a visit. For instance, it was the first cathedral which was constructed in Macau, and till day has Sunday services in Portuguese, is the Church of St Anthony. It displays beautiful and attractive European architecture that attracts anyone fascinated by historical buildings and preservation.

Tour of Macau

Visiting the attractions, sea trips, visit places of art and culture, enjoying food, and enjoying the nightlife of Macau to the fullest are some of the opportunities you must think about while going to Macau.

Best Time to Visit

The weather of this particular region of the world is temperate and sultry and there are excellent variations in the temperature all round the year. Autumn, that commences from October and lasts till December is the best period for vacation to this place.

Important Festivals and Exhibitions

All round the year Macau holds different international proceedings such as the International Fireworks Festival, and the Macau International Music Festival, that draws the attention of millions of people all around the world.

Macau also organises the twelve-monthly Macau Grand Prix, which allures nearly 70,000 visitors. A massive audience of 220 million spectators all around the world can see the races and contests that includes international drivers thumping the famous Guia Circuit, through satellite.

Munerous other sports take place over here like Macau Golf Open which takes place after every two years, the Dragon Boat Races in June each year and the Macau global Marathon which takes place in November.

PLACES NEARBY

Hong Kong, one of the most affluent market places in the entire world and now a part of China is approximately around 60 km from Macau. Despite being a major shopping place it is also an excellent place for sightseeing.

Canton the capital of the Guangdong in China and a past trading post is an additional destination which is a must visit site. Earlier it was not feasible to visit Guangzhou from Macau, but presently it is conveniently accessible by road and by air.

Nightlife in Macau

Macau’s discos, pubs, and nightclubs are very popular among the tourists and is an integral part of the destination which is one of the major reasons why Macau is so famous with the visitors.

SHOPPING

Macau is not a very popular destination for shopping like Hong Kong or Singapore. Nonetheless, you come across good Portuguese wine, antique pieces,good collection of books, and other mementos. Leal Senado Square is the chief market and exceedingly suggested for this purpose.

WHERE TO STAY

There are numerous excellent lodging choices offered in Macau including hotels of all kinds suiting your pocket. Portuguese – style inns, guesthouses, and hostels all are available there.

WHERE TO EAT

Lhasa has few of the very good eating joints, but if you have plans to move out of the town it is advisable to carry food, as food is pretty insufficient in Tibet.

Macau City Fringe – Discover, Experience, Enjoy

Amazing Macau is just one of those places that you cannot help but fall in love with. This inspiring city is not only any gambler’s dream destination, but it is also one of the most economically prosperous cities in the region. As casinos are legal in Macau, gambling is not a mere past time instead it’s a way of life for most high rollers who visit the city in expectation of leaving it even richer.

Although it may seem like a destination for the elite traveler at first glance, you will find that there are just as many entertainment options for the globetrotter as well. As the city is home to a variety of people from various ethnic backgrounds, Macau is also an ideal destination for the history buff as the city is studded with a range of attractions related to local culture.

The Macau City Fringe offers a revolutionary theatrical experience for the lover of the arts. This one-of-a-kind celebration of theatrical evolution has grown in stature over the years to become a much-anticipated cultural event in the local calendar. The tradition of drama and theatre in Macau is still alive and well, although technology has taken the place of various forms of traditional entertainment.

As a city that embraces change and appreciates the introduction of all that is modern, Macau has not however, forgotten its history and the culture related to it. The ardent fan of theatre would already be aware that theatre in Macau is a mixture of Chinese stylized drama and Portuguese drama. The influence of these refined dramatic traditions has not only offered the theatergoer a fresh experience but has also made sure that experimentation which results in evolution remains a distinctive feature of drama and theatre in Macau.

The Macau City Fringe is one such flamboyant cultural event which gives dramatists both young and old the opportunity to express themselves to an international audience. Performers from all over the world take part in this event, making it a unique celebration of performing arts which is held annually.

In addition to dramas, visitors will also be able to watch dancing and musical performances at the Macau City Fringe 2010 which will take place from 12th to 28th November 2010. Several workshops will also be set in place to educate up-and-coming performers and to lend them a helping hand to excel in their respective discipline, be it dance, theatre or music.

The Venetian Macau Resort Hotel offers luxurious accommodation for those who travel to Macau. This landmark Macau hotel is located in the heart of the city, offering access to its top attractions.

Macau Walking Tour

A Macau walking tour is the best way to explore the place at your own pace. It’s easy to walk, full of fun and covers the gems of Macau sightseeing. You’re going to see from historical landmarks to contemporary Vegas style casinos.

Even you have only half a day, you would be able to do a walking tour and get the best out of Macau sightseeing.

Macau Walking Tour Golden Route

Everything started at Senado Square, with neighborhood Leal Senado, central fountain, Holy House of Mercy and Central Post Office. The route has two parts, both interesting and fun.

Here’s the routing and major points of interest of this 2-hour walking tour which I’ve recently walked through.

17:15 – General Post Office
Senado Square
Ruins of St. Paul’s
Mount Fortress
Walk back to Central Post Office on the same route
Walk along Av. Almeida to Hotel Lisboa
Cross the road to Wynn
19:15 – Dinner at Star World Hotel

Even if you’re travelling solo, two hours would include setting up of tripod to take photos for yourself and walk in a very leisure pace. The time you spend will largely depend on your walking speed and how you want to explore the points of interest. On the way to Ruins of St. Paul’s there are many souvenir shops offering free tasting. It’s going to be a very interesting walk. Avenida Almeida is the downtown of Macau where you’ll see tourists around you and all kind of shops.

If time permits, I would highly recommend your exploring the following Macau heritages along the way.

Macau Walking Tour – Must See Points of Interest

Ruins of St. Paul’s – The number one Macau landmark, originally St. Paul’s College and the Cathedral of St. Paul, a 17th-century Portuguese cathedral.

Mount Fortress – Built in conjunction with the Jesuits from 1617 to 1626, this was the city’s principal military defence structure, and was crucial in successfully holding off the attempted Dutch invasion of Macau in 1622. A good place to have a panoramic view of Macau.

**Can take lift from Macau Museum as a fast track to Mount Fortress. But you have to pay entrance fee to visit the Macau Museum first.

Macau Walking Tour – Optional Points of Interest

Museum of The Holy House of Mercy – right next to General Post Office at Senado Square. A very classic Portuguese white building built in 1569 on the orders of the Bishop of Macao. Even the building itself is such beautiful place worth visiting. It was a medical clinic and several other social welfare structures in early Macau. It later served as an orphanage and refuge for widows of sailors lost at sea. Entrance fee MOP 5.

Na Tcha Temple and Section of the Old City Walls A small traditional Chinese temple standing in between the Old City Walls and The Ruins of St Paul’s. Built in 1888, this temple is dedicated to the worship of Na Tcha. Spend a few minutes there and get a sense of Macau’s multicultural identity and religious freedom.

Macau Museum – in between the Ruins of St. Paul’s and Mount Fortress – must see if you want to know everything about Macau.